The large-scale structure of logical empiricism: Unity of science and the elimination of metaphysics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 72 (5):826-838 (2005)
Two central and well-known philosophical goals of the logical empiricists are the unification of science and the elimination of metaphysics. I argue, via textual analysis, that these two apparently distinct planks of the logical empiricist party platform are actually intimately related. From the 1920’s through 1950, one abiding criterion for judging whether an apparently declarative assertion or descriptive term is metaphysical is that that assertion or term cannot be incorporated into a language of unified science. I explore various versions of this criterion throughout the works of Carnap and Neurath.
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